Hampleton Partners M&A report highlights uptick in e-commerce investment

The latest market report from technology M&A advisory firm, Hampleton Partners, reveals a 97 percent surge in the total value of E-commerce deals during the second half of 2016, despite a slight fall in volume.

The E-Commerce M&A report, which covers mergers and acquisitions in the period between July 2014 and December 2016, shows a string of mega deals boosted by improving levels of profitability contributed to higher spending.

The trailing 30-day median revenue dropped slightly to 2.7x in 2H 2016 from 2.8x the previous half year, while the trailing EBITDA multiple shot up to 11.6x from 10.6x during the corresponding period in 2015.

Top acquirers

Out of 1,693 transactions in the trailing 30-month period, deals in Internet and Information Services segment accounted for 54 percent of all transactions. Food delivery investors Just Eat and Foodpanda accounted for the sector's top two acquirers in the last 30 months, with a total of 10 deals each, followed by motor racing news specialist, Motorsport.com, with 9 deals announced in the same period. Other top buyers in the sector include Sprinklr, TripAdvisor, Quickr and Time Inc.

Food delivery a bright spot for the industry

Despite lower deal volume in 2H 2016, M&A is on the rise in fast-growing markets such as the online food delivery space, where market leaders buying out rivals continues to fan the flames of consolidation. Driven in part by a string of divestments by serial investor, Rocket Internet, online food delivery companies have accelerated their hunt for smaller rivals in a bid to secure dominance in home markets.

Jo Goodson, Managing Director, Hampleton Partners: "Driven by growing profit, high levels of interest in the e-commerce segment will continue to fuel investment in adjacent areas including marketing technology and customer analytics. This also has huge implications for automation, as the industry shifts toward new solutions, including drones and robotics, to deliver consumer goods."

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